Ken Stewart has been the dominant force in Clermont County and the county’s best representative throughout the United States in Senior Olympics competitions.
He explained what keeps him so motivated and involved in competing throughout the United States.
“I’m trying to keep this old body moving and I enjoy the competition,” said the 70-year-old who looks much younger than his years.
He has been very closely identified with the Clermont County sports scene since the 1950s.
A 1958 graduate of Batavia High School, he earned letters in football, baseball, and track and field. After graduating from Ohio University in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in science comprehensive with a major in biology, he began teaching at Amelia High School during the 1964-65 school year. The following year he began coaching at AHS. He has taught biology, geology, anatomy, physiology, botany and zoology. He has also taught at St. Bernadette School in Amelia.
He earned his master's degree from Miami (Ohio) University.
His first coaching job at AHS was during the 1965-66 school year as the defensive coordinator of the varsity football team under head coach Frank Conyers. The Barons were the best in the Clermont County League (CCL) allowing the fewest number of points. The same year he became the co-head coach with Conyers of Amelia's first varsity wrestling team. They lost just three dual matches in three years. He led the varsity boys track and field squads to eight consecutive CCL titles. He also led the Blue and White to CCL crowns in cross country and tennis. He was recognized by his peers being chosen by them as the CCL coach of the year in cross country, track and field, and tennis.
In addition to coaching at the barony, he has also coached at Batavia, Glen Este, Williamsburg, Cincinnati Country Day, and Georgetown high schools.
Stewart's knowledge and talent are well-known and well-respected. He was chosen by the United States Olympic Selection Committee as an Olympic track official for the 1996 Olympic Games that took place in Atlanta.
The events in which Stewart competes in the Senior Olympics are the 1,500-meter walk, 1,500-meter run, 800-meter run, discus, and standing and running long jumps.
To prepare for the competitions he works out six days a week, swimming every other day, and the other days running and throwing the disc. He runs at Batavia High School and lifts weights and swims at the Clermont County YMCA.
Swimming is a more recent endeavor. He competes in the 50, 100, and 200-yard freestyles and "occasionally a 500 free," and the 50, 100, and 200 backstrokes. He has been known to compete in rare instances in tennis, basketball, cycling, and badminton.
Stewart is a good family man. He and his wife of 45 years, the former Janet Kamerer who was a cheerleader at Batavia when her future husband was competing in athletics, are the parents of Scott (35-years of age) and Jodi (33).
This year Stew is going to keep his wife happy by trying to compete in one of the two states that she has never visited, Alaska or North Dakota, for their wedding anniversary.
He said, "I'd like to compete a couple more years. If I remain healthy I could go on more years. My goal is to win every time. There is no place other than first place. But I enjoy the competition so much. People are so friendly everywhere. . .
"Staying healthy is the key to success. I run at Batavia High School at 6 a.m. in the morning."
Stewart is much beloved by his former students and athletes at Amelia High School. He is continually being invited to reunions and other gatherings.
He said, "I'd like people to remember me as a good coach and a good teacher. . . I'm very glad my kids at Amelia are still speaking to me. I'm proud of the hundreds of friendships I made there through the years."